Indiana Pacers: The One Trade That Can Complete Their Roster

Ernest ShepardAnalyst IIIJanuary 24, 2012

I would say no to a Eric Gordon for Danny Granger swap but I would say yes to something else.
I would say no to a Eric Gordon for Danny Granger swap but I would say yes to something else.Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The Indiana Pacers are close to being an elite team. The late Sunday night 98-96 win in Los Angeles suggests that they are worthy of being considered one of the top 10 teams in the NBA.

For one, they defeated a team with a winning record on the road. Some may argue and have argued about the Lakers being a good team given their recent troubles, yet the Lakers are still a good team with two of the top 20 players in the NBA.

Secondly, the Pacers hung on to a lead in a tough environment two time-zones away. While most teams would have wilted after their starting center Roy Hibbert suffered a broken nose, Indiana played on to erase a 13-point deficit at the end of the first quarter.

Results in that game should remind us how good the Pacers can be if—if they make one move.

No, the Pacers should not trade talented forward Danny Granger to the Hornets for the extremely talented Eric Gordon.

Granger, a New Orleans-native, is not about to be packaged up in a deal for anyone not considered an upper-echelon player. It's a move the NBA commissioner David Stern would block anyway—citing the league owners would not agree to the deal.

That deal would cripple both teams for these reasons: Gordon is short for a shooting guard and the Pacers have Paul George. 

In my opinion, George is a player who could be on the verge of a breakout stretch at any moment.

The deal that I would make would be: Pacers trade G Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones, along with a future draft pick to the Sacramento Kings for Tyreke Evans.

Evans is a player who could use a change of scenery; perhaps, a move would revitalize his career. Although he is more of a combo guard, Evans is a more than capable ball-handler and passer. 

He is more of a shoot-first point guard who doesn't quite fit the mold, but his addition adds more scoring to a team that needs the fire-power. Evans has active hands on defense. He is big enough at 6'5" to guard the strong point guards in the Eastern Conference.

Sacramento should do this because Collison is a solid point guard more suitable for the running offensive-style the Kings play. Dahntay Jones would give the Kings toughness and the roster flexibility going forward.

Comparing the potential starting five of the Pacers with the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat

Miami                               Chicago                         Indiana

G Mario Chalmers           Derrick Rose                Tyreke Evans

G Dwayne Wade              Richard Hamilton        Paul George

C Joel Anthony                Joakim Noah               Roy Hibbert

F LeBron James               Luol Deng                   Danny Granger 

Chris Bosh                    Carlos Boozer             David West


The Pacers potential starting five would rival the top-two teams in the East. Indiana has played the Bulls and Heat tough the last two seasons. It would also give them a leg up on the Magic, Hawks and 76er's—thus giving a top-three seed in the NBA playoffs.

Will a trade such as this happen?

While I am not sure, it is a fair trade for both teams involved and it would complete the Pacers.

If I were Larry Bird, I would be on the phone right now.